Sabrina Singh – Creative Synesthesia

The concept of creative synesthesia occurs when individuals experience one physical sensation that evokes another with a sense; such as, tasting food with the use of imagery as someone explains it to you. For this post, it will revolve around, the 1969 Coca Cola ad, where James Brown’s was featured, designer yet to be found. During this time, Coca Cola had changed their original slogan from, “Things Go Better with Coke to It’s the Real Thing”, during this switch James Brown had recorded a new song for the new slogan, which also landed him to be featured on the ad. For this composition, the undiscovered designer incorporated warm, citric colours that provide a bright, refreshing and summer-like feeling. Aside from the relation of the fizzyness in the beverage and the organic lines as the background, this particular colour palette, evokes the sensation of taste, as a burst of citric flavors come to mind. This pop art composition reminds me of the pop rock candies, where every mouth full provides you with a POP and a burst of new flavours. It displays a significant amount of happiness, which is clearly demonstrated on James Brown’s face, also, with the dominance of yellow, orange and golden yellow, the sensation of happiness and joy is greatly presented. Pop rocks candy provides every consumer with a new burst of excitement as every taste is different. The small organic shapes included in this design around the ears and on small sections of the body represents the different shapes of the little pop rock candies that come inside of the packages, as they are all different sizes.


James Brown printed on Coca Cola ad., 1969

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Pop Rocks Candy





Imaginary Interview with Bradbury Thompson

Imaginary Interview with Bradbury Thompson

H = Host

BT = Bradbury Thompson

Adjusts antenna and television dial to find House of Art


*director shows notion for crowd to applaud and cheer*


*director shows notion for crowd to applaud and cheer*

H: Everyone, meet the one and only Design Guru, Bradbury Thompson!!

*director shows notion for crowd to applaud and cheer*

BT: *Chuckles*, oh I wouldn’t say I’m a guru now, I’m just an ordinary designer who truly loves what they do!

H: Haha, well lets’ refresh the minds of our viewers and we’ll see how much of an “ordinary” designer you say you are!

BT: Well, I was born quite some time ago, in Topeka, Kansas. In 1934 I was a graduating student at Washburn University, where I received my formal art education, along with my graduation degree. Years later, I was fortunate enough to design our college mascot, “The Ichabod”. I must admit, I had a very thorough grasp at design, and I was also lucky enough to learn every aspect of print production, which does become handy as a designer. Despite my ins and outs of Kansas, I did keep in touch with Washburn University, where I did work with them side by side on many different projects. From 1969-79 I worked with Washburn to create the Washburn Bible. The book was the most significant development in Bible typography since Gutenberg first published his masterpiece in 1455. Additionally, I did try to experiment with all areas of design, I did this for many reasons, some being, personal interest, to gain knowledge and to be a versatile designer, also to just experiment because I don’t know what I’ll like or dislike without trying. I did indeed study printing production for a great portion of my life, and I was also an art director for Mademoiselle magazine, where I designed books, pushed the boundaries of conventional typography and taught design at Yale University.

H: Incredible! Hey audience, did you know Bradbury, designed over 60 issues of Westvaco Inspirations, a promotional magazine published by the Westvaco Paper Corporation. This allowed his designs to reach thousands of designers, printers and typographers. Give him a round of applause!!

 *director shows notion for crowd to applaud and cheer*

H: You did a lot of hard work to get where you are today, and you continue to inspire designers of all ages.

BT: Thank you, I appreciate your kind words! Oh, and I forgot to mention, I always had a huge interest in mixing mediums because I didn’t know what would work best. No one has done it, so I did it myself. I’ve had a huge excitement for blending photography, typography and color, I tried to create my own unique way of designing these compositions because I did want my work to stand out, I wanted to sketch or even break the stereotypical boundaries. I did want people to try and experiment because you never know what you’ll really end up with.

H: I’m really glad you brought that up, because here’s one of your iconic pieces. The famous Rock Roll spread. 


BT: Ahhh, this particular creation was designed to be very simple and straight to the point.  As you all can see, the color scheme used are the CMYK colour palette and black. On the left, the musician incorporated is in black and white, and underneath it has ROCK written in a serif typeface all in capitals. On the opposing side, the right; it has the same musician repeated several times, layering each other on different angles to showcase motion. By doing this, it creates a relation with the word that is written underneath, which is roll. Each figure is done in a different hue of the CMYK colour palette. Lastly, under the CMYK musician, it states ROLL in different colours, and it is also done with a serif typeface in all capital letters. The typeface seems to be a bold serif font to further emphasize the contrast of the main two pieces. As a whole, the piece does really well in its progression from left to right. The contrast of the circles to the serif font was a nice touch.

H: Incredible eye, keen designer, if I do say so myself. I am always astonished by your work. I just have one more question… Why CMYK colour palette? In a lot of your work you incorporated these hues, is this your personal theme or distinction between other artists and designers?

BT: That’s a good question. I purposely kept the colour schemes fairly similar, especially incorporating a lot of the CMYK colour scheme because it was simple yet impactful. In my designs I do keep my work fairly simple, in both graphic and typographic aspects. I did the same with the colour scheme because I didn’t want the colours I chose to overpower my overall design. For the most part, I did try to keep the consistency of overlapping the CMYK colours, repetition, transparencies and silhouettes.

H: AMAZING! You really know how to catch your viewer’s attention. Okay, now, audience, since you all have be amazing today, as usual, Bradbury and I have a surprise…. For those who really know Bradbury, you all know he created 90 original stamps, he did indeed consult with the United States Postal service on many designs for stamps over his career. With that being said…. Here are some free one of a kind Bradbury stamps!

BT: *Chuckles*


BT: *Chuckles*

H: Not to mention, some of your work were iconic snapshots of American history and culture, including the famous “Learning never ends”, stamp of 1980 with its colorful Josef Albers painting, and the irrepressibly jaunty “Love”, stamp of 1984. Is there any particular reason as to why these designs had a strong relation with American history?

BT: In all honesty, American history is so fascinating to see how we as designers evolved tremendously over the years. It always seemed to fascinate me as a child. I always had thoughts of creating historic related compositions that would inform others why these particular scenes of movements are so significant to society.

H: So, tell me Brad, you had great exposure to every American graphic design organization, including National Society of Art Directors (1950), AIGA Gold Medal Award (1975), Art Directors Hall of Fame (1977), also, you earned the Frederic W. Goudy Award from RIT (1983), your phenomenal, most iconic achievements during the twentieth century led you to this positon, how did that feel?

BT: *Chuckles*, in all honesty, I was speechless for some time. As a designer you have doubts every now and then of your work, you constantly ask yourself, “who will actually appreciate all of my hard work? Who can envision and understand my concept? Will people actually want to see my work in person?”, the list never ends. If there is one piece of advice, I could give to all young designers… DO NOT doubt yourself. You ARE creative, you ARE influential, you ARE YOUNG!!!! Be creative, break the rules. Art is supposed to different, it is supposed to have your viewers speechless and aw’d at your hard work and dedication. You want them to have that “ah-ha, I see what he envisions!”. You interpret art as you please. Just because you aren’t at the very top right now, doesn’t mean you won’t get there one day.

HT: Wow, audience, give this man a huge round of applause.

*director shows notion for crowd to applaud and cheer*

HT: You make me want to stop being a host and start designing. You really are one of a kind!

BT: I try to be as understanding and as open minded as I can.

H: Thompson, a very content man. Despite what he says, he was and still is a prominent name among the twentieth century American Graphic Designers and Art Directors. I think we’ve covered it all today, it was a great pleasure having you on our show today!

BT: Likewise, thank you for having me, it was a joy!

H: Let’s give it up to Bradbury Thompson one last time everybody!

*director shows notion for crowd to applaud and cheer*

Someone sneezed, the antenna moved, connection lost……



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